Teeth whitening options have become increasingly popular lately, with procedures offered at places anywhere from the mall to cruise ships. Not to mention the home kits that you can find at your local drugstore or supermarket. But before you fork over your hard-eared money for expensive whitening solutions, you might want to try one of these effective techniques . . .
When it comes to your teeth, what kind of approach do you take? Maybe you’ve been on a strict morning, noon and night brushing schedule even before you were tall enough to reach the bathroom sink. Or, perhaps you’re a bit of a slacker when it comes to dental care, brushing once a day or less. Whatever tooth track you’re on (I myself am a brusher, but not much of a flosser), you know just how important it is to take care of your pearly whites.
And, regardless of which approach you take, there are always ways to improve your dental health. Especially when you consider that simple things like aging, drinking sodas, coffee and teas, indulging in a glass of red wine every now and then—any of these things can make your teeth look less than ideal.
Add smoking cigarettes and cigars to that mix (which significantly yellows teeth over time) and you end up with an unhealthy smile that makes you appear much older than you actually are.
So - how can you keep your pearly whites looking fresh and clean?
Teeth whitening options have become increasingly popular lately, with procedures offered at places anywhere from the mall (I’m not even kidding you) to cruise ships (yup – I could have done it on mine). Not to mention the home kits that you can find at your local drugstore or super-store. But before you fork over your hard-eared money for expensive whitening solutions, try these techniques:
Brush regularly. Clean your teeth after every meal—the sooner, the better—with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Anything stiffer may scratch the enamel on the tooth surface and cause gums to bleed, especially if you’re heavy-handed.
Get rid of plaque. Even the best brushing habits can leave behind plaque, the sticky residue that attracts stains and tooth decay. See your dentist at least once a year for a thorough cleaning, and use a mouthwash containing plaque-disclosing ingredients to identify trouble spots. Also, use a tongue scrubber—plaque likes to hang out on the tongue, where it is easily transferred to the teeth and gums. Scrubbers can be found in dental aisle of most stores and are also sold online.
Eat calcium-rich foods. Teeth need calcium to stay strong and healthy, which in turn prevents stain-attracting plaque from devastating their appearance. Milk, cheese, yogurt, canned fish with bones (such as sardines), leafy greens and soy products are all good choices. If you’re lactose-intolerant or have a problem eating enough of those foods, a calcium supplement can help.
Gargle with tea tree oil mouthwash. Tea tree oil mouthwash kills germs and bacteria that buildup on the surface of the teeth and can lead to unattractive tooth decay. If you can’t find a pre-made formula make your own: mix a tablespoon of pure tea tree oil with a half a cup of water and a few drops of peppermint oil for flavor.
Remember – it’s never too late to start a healthy tooth regimen. So if you are one of the slackers, use the above information to step up your game and you’ll have a healthier smile – now and for years to come!